Thursday, April 9, 2015

Open the Bible and point method.

Have you ever challenged God to do that?  "I'm going to open my Bible and the first verse that pops out will tell me how to solve all of life's problems."  Yeah, right. 

Journaling Bible art in Jeremiah 29:11 with stickers, hand lettering and gesso.
Jeremiah 29:11
When there is a problem at work, you go to your supervisor.  When the kids need help dealing with a situation at school they go to Mom or Dad.  Naturally, we look to our Maker for help when we are without answers.   Is there a Bible verse that has spoken to you during a trying situation?  A special passage that moved you when you needed it most. 

During our Sunday Bible class, several believers said that it was hard for them to want to read the Bible on a daily basis.  However, they also admitted that when they were faced with hard circumstances they turned to His Word for help. 

God tells us that we are to come to Him for peace and assistance in times of trials.  David did it over and over.  If you have read any of the Psalms you will know that many of them are requests for help.  Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible and it's very insightful into how we can use the Word.  "Let my tongue sing of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.  Let Your hand be ready to help me, For I have chosen Your precepts."  The Psalmist is telling me that he has relied on the Lord and studied His word, so he is confident that the Lord will help him.

Journaling Bible in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you."   With a handmade tag and torn map.
So where have you found comfort and guidance?  Have you found words or art that adequately express the emotion you have for that verse?  Be blessed and let His Word speak to you today.

Matte who?

Matte decoupage and gel watercolor crayons used for art journaling in my Bible.Art journaling was my passion just before diving into Bible journaling (or journaling in my Bible).  While learning about art journaling and all the sorts of mediums, I began using lots of matte decoupage and matte gel medium to glue and seal my projects and pages.  They are, both, wonderful products.  The gel is just more thick than the decoupage.

Well, I got to wondering....could I actually use decoupage as a sealer for my Bible pages.  So I took the risk and tried it on the very first page of scripture in the Bible, Genesis 1!  I applied a thin layer of my favorite matte decoupage, Aleen's, to the entire page and dried it with my heat gun.  When I do this, I always put a piece of parchment paper under the page to prevent the next page from gluing to the page I am sealing.  Then, I colored around the edges with some up & up watercolor gel crayons and Crayola Twistable Slick Sticks.  These work much like gelatos and are much more affordable.  They just aren't as high of a quality and don't come in the variety of colors.  This part of the process takes more experimentation and is just a matter of artist interpretation.  I really like the gold Slick Stick color because you can add just a couple scribbles of it and it will add a slight shimmer to the area where you "paint" it. 
Journaling Bible page in Genesis with stickers for Creation days.Journaling Bible art in Genesis with watercolor gel crayonsAfter drying with the heat gun I added some number stickers from Mambi to label each of the days of the Creation.  The pages is still a little crumpled looking, but it will smooth out a little while the pages are closed and under the weight of the Bible itself.  It's a simple page, but I like it.   Trust your instincts and try something new!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

"You're gonna ask God to do what?"

Beware: this post is like my inner dialogue written out!  Posting, Bible study, and just about anything has been really difficult lately.  I suffer from depression.  Many of you, unfortunately, have probably been there. 
Spring has finally gotten to my part of the world, but, to me, it just feels like one more thing to deal with.  All the closet cleaning, planting, painting, muddy shoes, wet doggy feet, and so much more. 
I have been waiting for this fog to lift, but I also haven't been in The Word much.  How can I expect things to happen and resolve when I have forgotten who to talk to when things get tough?!
 It's like the stereotypical adage of a woman, when asked "what's wrong?" answers "Nothing."  God knows all.  He knows what I am going through.  But I still need to bring it to Him.  I need to make sure my heart is right, too.  If I am truly seeking Him and what He wants for my life, then I can come to Him with any burdens and sorrows. 
I was listening to a recording by pastors Francis Chan and James McDonald the other day.  The Holy Spirit convicted me of the way I have been dealing with some personal situations lately.  I realized that I was hurting one of God's children with my bad attitude and hurtful words.  Francis Chan talked about a church member who came forward for prayer in dealing with an illness.  When Francis talked later with this young man he asked him if he had any issues that would be keeping him from being completely open with God.  The young man shrugged off some little issues and then muttered something about his girlfriend.  Francis found out, through some probing, that this man was living with his girlfriend and was not in a sexually pure relationship with her.  I loved Francis' reaction.  He said something like, "And you want me to go to God with you and ask for help?!"  He remarked, "That's like you sleeping with my daughter and then coming to me to ask for a favor!"  Man, that hurt. 
Things aren't miraculously wonderful today.  However, I, now, know that I need to begin with my own heart and my own relationship with God.  The Holy Spirit tends to slap me upside the head like this sometimes.  Probably, because I need it!  Later that day, I was going through a class from Shanna Noel.  At the end of the session she challenged me to find a verse about peace and strength.  I had lots of trouble finding one.  After looking through an old art journal I found a note about relying on God in rough times with 1 Peter 4:12-13 noted next to it.  After looking up the verse, I quickly got out some art supplies and went at it.  I was interrupted many times and had to make dinner. (I can't get those kids to stop eating!)  After many breaks I was fairly happy with what I was taught and what I had made that day.

Art journaling Bible page inspired by 1 Peter 4: 12-13 with acrylic paint in green and yellow.
1 Peter 4:12-13
It was like the preverbial bandage that got ripped off the wound.  But then there was this smooth and clean skin underneath.  God's discipline is not always easy to take, but it brings about some amazing growth and joy.  I encourage you to really dive in to the Word.  Let it speak to your heart and hands.  Don't let rules and restrictions keep you from creating what your heart is speaking to your Father.  Be blessed.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

A popular word

Art journaling Bible page inspired by the Great Commission with a map and stickers.
Matthew 28:19 Go make disciples, baptizing &
 teaching them to obey
I guess I picked a trending "Word of The Year" to guide my Christian walk throughout 2015.  GO.  However, inspiration hadn't really hit me until this week.  Dozens of pins with globes in Bibles have come across my Pinterest feed.  But, I am secretly a non-conformist.  I didn't want a globe being the only idea that conveyed one of the most important instructions in the Bible. 

When I came across the "Logos 365 Challenge" from His Kingdom Come I was already in the midst of reading "Follow Me" by David Platt.  My husband and I have studied it as part of an eclectic mix of 20 to 50 somethings study group.  It's awesome.   This book and study make it abundantly obvious that I am not keeping up my part of the bargain with Jesus.  He saved me.  The least I could do is tell people how exciting and wonderful my life has been since. 

I was also at a crossroads in my life.  Feeling stuck doesn't even begin to describe it.  There had to be change, but first it involved me getting out of my physical and mental rut to get my groove back.  So, the word "go" seemed fitting for the personal, physical, and spiritual focus for my year.

Art journaling Bible page "For I know the plans I have for you" with stickers, map, and gesso
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans
I have for you
The approach of April and the end of my Sunday School study caused me to feel like I needed to cement this idea on to paper.  Well, Modge Podge it onto paper anyway. 

I had used an atlas on another spread a few months ago so I didn't want to just repeat the look for Matthew 28:19.  Thinking about the sphere of influence that I have in "making disciples" gave me the idea to look in my car for a map of our city.  Score!  There was a downtown visitors guide in the side pocket of my rockin' mini van! 

The map served as my color palette and off I went.  You can see the process in one of my first youtube videos.  I am learning as I go, so please bear with the glare from the white pages.

Do you have a "Word of The Year?"  Share what and why in the comments below.  I would love to hear what you are doing to explore that theme so far this year and if you have journaled it in your Bible.